Mention the name Muhammad Ali and people the world over will know exactly who you're talking about. The former heavyweight champion is one of the most recognized and beloved sports figures of the past century. In the ring, he made an impact with his powerful fists and lightning quick feet. Outside the ring, he earned a reputation as a good-natured, free-spoken personality who liked to make up poems about how he planned to beat his next opponent. Yet Muhammad Ali was much more than a boxer and a braggart. He emerged during the tumultuous 60s as a man with strong spiritual convictions and an unwavering belief in the importance of the Civil Rights movement. Today he continues to support charitable causes and peace efforts even as he fights a new and more daunting opponent-a debilitating syndrome that has impaired his speech and motor control. Though he can no longer ``dance like a butterfly'' or ``sting like a bee,'' to sports lovers everywhere, he is still ``the greatest.'' Get to know a true legend.
Matt Christopher is the best selling name behind more than 100 sports-themed books for young readers.